VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – The Illinois Tech women's volleyball team earned an All-American honor at Thursday night's USCAA Fall National Championships Banquet. Senior captain and outside hitter Irena Grauzinis was named First Team All-American.
A USCAA Honorable Mention last season, Grauzinis has built off that momentum to have one of the strongest seasons a student-athlete has had at Illinois Tech. The senior has tallied 479 kills on the season, which leads the USCAA and is the second most in school history, 46 off of the school record. She has also tallied 52 aces (24th in the USCAA), 335 digs (37th in the USCAA), 29 total blocks, and a .102 hitting percentage. Her 1,739 attempts leads the USCAA. In addition, Irena's 3.89 kills/set also ranks towards the top of the USCAA leaderboard, tying for fifth place as of Tuesday's announcement.
Grauzinis has played every set (123) of every match (34) this season, one of six Scarlet Hawks to do so. She's tallied double-digit kills in 25 matches and over 20 kills seven matches. The St. Charles, Illinois native has also tallied double-digit digs 15 times and has 12 matches with over 10 kills and 10 digs. Her season-high in kills is 25, a number that she reached twice in two matches on October 15 against St. Louis College of Pharmacy and Robert Morris University Springfield. At Beloit College on September 3, she reached her season-high in digs of 29. She also tallied a season-high five aces against Great Lakes Christian on October.
The First Team All-American honor comes near the end of an incredible Scarlet Hawk career for Grauzinis. As of the award's announcement, she ranks third all-time in Illinois Tech history with 993 kills, just 26 away from the second rank. She also ranks fourth all-time in digs (988) and sixth all-time in aces. She was also honored on Thursday night with a USCAA All-Academic honor for the second year in a row.
Grauzinis and the rest of the Scarlet Hawks return to the court in Virginia Beach, Virginia on Friday. The Scarlet Hawks will play two more matches in pool play, taking on #3 Alfred State College at 10:00 a.m. ET (9:00 a.m. CT) before opposing #7 Carlow University at 1:00 p.m. ET (12:00 p.m. CT). If the Scarlet Hawks are one of the top four teams in Pool B, Tech will play a five-set quarterfinal match at either 4:00 p.m. ET or 5:30 p.m. ET. Live stats and video links courtesy of the USCAA are scheduled to be available.